UofL College of Business
UofL College of Business

Yum! Brands, Inc. and the University of Louisville today announced the launch of new “Accelerating Growth” executive education programs at the Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence. The new programs will focus on equipping operations leaders to take on senior management roles in franchise organizations, an area identified as a key opportunity by franchisees and leadership at the Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence, which has been providing education for aspiring entrepreneurs through the UofL College of Business since 2021.

As part of its $100 million global Unlocking Opportunity Initiative, Yum! Brands is providing more than $800,000 in funding to launch the “Accelerating Growth” programs, which is in addition to the $3.5 million commitment the company made to launch the Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence in 2021. The goal of Yum! Brands’ Unlocking Opportunity Initiative is to create opportunities for education and entrepreneurship for employees, frontline restaurant teams and communities around the world.

The two new “Accelerating Growth” education tracks will launch in the summer and fall 2024 semester and will focus on training attendees to upskill their franchising education.

“Yum! Brands is passionate about the franchise business model, and capable franchise leaders are the lifeblood of every successful franchise system. As the franchisor of choice for the industry, we are thrilled to partner with the University of Louisville and address a need of the industry – training a new generation of leaders to take on senior management roles in franchise businesses,” said Wanda Williams, head, Global Franchising, Yum! Brands. “Since its launch in 2021 as part of our Unlocking Opportunity Initiative, the Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence has helped prepare hundreds of students for successful careers and business ownership opportunities by building knowledge about the franchising industry.”

Two new education tracks will be offered as part of the “Accelerating Growth” program, which will develop the skills necessary to run and grow a large franchise business: a six-month Level 1 program designed to train general managers and area coaches for a vice president role, and an advanced one-year program customized to prepare vice presidents for a role as president of a franchise organization. Both programs include online and experiential education, and the advanced program also includes a final simulation and development of a business plan.

“The ‘Accelerating Growth’ program is an exceptional addition to the multilevel franchise education offered by our center at the University of Louisville and is yet another way we can create opportunities for professionals across the franchising industry. We are incredibly grateful for Yum!’s continued support for the center and this opportunity to expand the center’s programs,” said Kathleen Gosser, director of the Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence and assistant professor in the UofL College of Business.

Since the launch of the Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence at UofL, total enrollment has exceeded 900 students – 418 undergrad, 50 graduate-level and 500 executive education enrollees.

In addition, the center launched the annual Yum! Franchise Accelerator Fellowship in 2022, a collaborative effort between UofL, Howard University and Yum! Brands, which offers a unique opportunity for four MBA students from the two universities. Participants in the annual program are granted $10,000 scholarships and receive personalized training and mentorship from industry experts during an immersive educational journey centered around the franchise business model. Each accelerator program culminates in a pitch competition featuring a $10,000 cash prize, while establishing winners as top candidates for promising franchising careers. The Yum! Franchise Accelerator Fellowship is open to all eligible students regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age.